Continuing in the spirit of Fred Wilson’s “Hacking Education” session which I linked to in my previous post, I wanted to highlight a couple of the main themes that emerged from that discussion:

1) Students take control of their own education. Best practices in this area are schools like the SUK high school in Helsinki, Finland where students manage their own curriculum and schedules.

2) Rise of alternative forms of education (home schooling, charter schools, online learning, adult education/lifelong learning).

3) Disrupt from the inside: Open courseware, lesson sharing, social networks, and lightweight/public publishing tools are examples of disruptive approaches that will work inside the existing system.

What impact will these changes have on tomorrow’s college graduate? Take a look at the following series of videos featured on Presentation Zen which represent some of the best applicants for Australian’s Tourism Queensland quest to recruit for the “best job in the world“. Not only was I struck by the incredibly professional quality of the videos and the creativity and imagination which went into their scripting, shooting and editing, I also wondered what this generation could teach us about time management. They are all in their early 20s, and aside from having aced their undergraduate degrees and being first-rate communicators, they all seemed to be sky-diving, bungee jumping, rafting and biking in their spare time. All were well-travelled and multi-lingual, and each one had crafted a unique and original case for why Queensland Tourism should hire someone who had never set foot in Australia before to be a caretaker of the Great Barrier Reef Islands.

This one is my favourite, featuring Mitchell from Canada. Just outstanding.

I could not help but speculate on what legacy this particular generation would leave behind for those who will graduate in 2019, by which time our economic systems will have adjusted downwards towards a more sustainable level of resource exploitation and energy consumption.

My guess is that travel, speaking many languages and practising a wide range of sports will be a lot less relevant when it comes to creating a place for oneself in the workplace of 2019. (or whatever it is called by then).

We will be a lot more local, self-reliant and community-centric. The frantic race for quantitative assets (degrees, languages, awards) will make way for something slower and more qualitative, while retaining the energy and can-do spirit of the digital native generation.

In our lifetime we have seen the boundaries between work and leisure disappear completely. Work that is meaningful is perceived as being Leisure Plus; while leisure is an opportunity to advance work objectives with a longer time span such as developing lifelong learning, freelancing or helping others with their projects. Social media wraps this process up and makes it seamless. The only time I know I am not working, for instance, is if I’m reading a book written in the 19th century. We are constantly brainstorming, making connections, testing ideas and mashing up. All this has made life more meaningful, while at the same time distorting and corrupting our relationship with time. There is only one way to go from here, and that is backwards: slow down, listen more attentively and mindfully and take pleasure in gestures that affirm the here and now-ness of our human condition. And that includes in our schools.

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